Greek Revival (1820-1910)

Old United States Mint in San Francisco Old United States Mint in San Francisco
Built 1869
Photographed 22 June 2005
National Register #73000397: Douglas Flat Schoolhouse in Calaveras County Douglas Flat Schoolhouse in Calaveras County
Built 1854
Photographed 4 December 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)
The Greek Revival style, which originated in Europe, was derived from the façades of classic Greek temples. Educated Americans, who associated their young democracy with the democracy of ancient Greece, found classical Greek models to be particularly appropriate for public buildings such as courthouses and schools.

Many grand residences in the eastern United State were Greek Revival in style particularly the ante-bellum plantation houses of the Old South. In the western United States, grand Greek Revival residences are not so common. The west was still the frontier when the style flourished in the east.

Many modest buildings in the West were simplified versions of the grand public buildings and private residences back East. A carpenter could achieve the dignity of a classical Greek temple by turning the building so that the gable faced the street, decorating the façade with a triangular cornice and pilasters, and adding a simple entry porch supported by two columns. Some Greek Revival houses were fabricated back East, and shipped around Cape Horn to the west coast.

Classical Greek models returned to popularity at the beginning of the 20th century as the Neoclassical or Classical Revival style.

The Greek Revival style appeared in the United States in 1798 with a design by William Latrobe, the first professionally trained architect in the United States. The popularity of the style spread quickly due to its political associations (it was seen as the style of ancient democracies) and social associations (it was viewed as a welcome break with the English based Georgian and Federal styles).

Using carpenter's pattern books as a reference, local builders included Greek Revival pediments, cornices, friezes and porticos in modest public buildings while relying on vernacular knowledge of brickwork and woodframe construction to construct details such as door and window frames.

Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Altaville Schoolhouse.

 

Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Allen-Sommer-Gage House1862410 Normal Avenue ChicoNormal 0410Allen-Sommer-Gage House
Altaville Grammar School 1858125 North Main Street AltavilleMain N 0125Altaville Grammar School
Canyonville Methodist Church 1868130 South Pine StreetCanyonville, ORPine S 0130Canyonville Methodist Church
Carnegie Library1911358 West Walnut Street WillowsWalnut W 0358Carnegie Library
Christian Church of Gilroy 1855160 Fifth Street Gilroy Street 05 0150Christian Church of Gilroy
Con Creek School189112340 State Route 128 Boonville Highway 128Con Creek School
Douglas Flat School 1854Main Street Douglas FlatMainDouglas Flat School
Fort Jones House1851Main Street Fort JonesMainFort Jones House
Griffith House18677325 English Colony WayPenrynEnglish Colony WayGriffith House
Grizzly Bluff School1871Grizzly Bluff RoadGrizzly BluffGrizzly BluffGrizzly Bluff School
Holland House1869512 Main StreetWheatlandMain 0512Holland House
Humboldt Bay Woolen Mill 19011400 Broadway EurekaBroadway 1400Humboldt Bay Woolen Mill
Iverson House187540 Iverson AvenuePoint ArenaIverson 0040Iverson House
Johnson House18531029 F Street Sacramento Street F 1029Johnson House
Kelly House1865422 South 200 WestSalt Lake City Street 200 WKelly House
Kelly House 1865422 South 200 West Salt Lake City Street 0200Kelly House
Kruger House 187410292 Donner Pass RoadTruckeeDonner Pass RoadKruger House
Kuchler Row 1872608-614 10th Street Sacramento Street 10 0608Kuchler Row
La Grange Stage Stop1850Yosemite Boulevard and Old La Grange RoadLa GrangeYosemiteLa Grange Stage Stop
Lander County Courthouse1871122 Main StreetAustinMain 0122Lander County Courthouse
Llano Road Roadhouse18504353 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol Gravenstein 4353Llano Road Roadhouse
Manchester Schoolhouse190719750 State Route 1Manchester Highway 001Manchester Schoolhouse
Mariposa County Courthouse 18545088 Bullion Street MariposaBullionMariposa County Courthouse
Merritt Adobe1852386 Pacific StreetMontereyPacific 0386Merritt Adobe
Moab LDS Church188965 North 200 EastMoab, UT Street 200Moab LDS Church
Molino Lodge18593rd and C StreetsTehama Street 03Molino Lodge
Morse-Skinner Ranch House 186913063 North Highway 99 Frontage Road LodiHighway 99Morse-Skinner Ranch House
Nesbitt House188166 Capitol Street SalinasCapitol 0066Nesbitt House
North Bloomfield School187223218 North Bloomfield RoadNorth BloomfieldNorth Bloomfield 23218North Bloomfield School
North San Juan United Methodist Church1856Flume StreetNorth San JuanFlumeNorth San Juan United Methodist Church
Odd Fellows Hall: Coulterville1900Main Street CoultervilleMainOdd Fellows Hall: Coulterville
Odd Fellows Hall: La Grange188030039 Yosemite Boulevard La GrangeYosemite 30039Odd Fellows Hall: La Grange
Old La Grange Schoolhouse1875Old La Grange Road and Floto Street La GrangeOld La GrangeOld La Grange Schoolhouse
Old United States Mint 18695th and Mission Streets San Francisco Street 05 0100Old United States Mint
Oleta Schoolhouse1860American Flat RoadFiddletownAmerican FlatOleta Schoolhouse
Oxnard Public Library1906424 South C StreetOxnard Street C 0424Oxnard Public Library
Palmer House1875284 Main Street Point ArenaMain 0284Palmer House
Phillips House 185371 Seventh Street Arcata Street 07 0071Phillips House
Prescott House 186412 Page Street Virginia City, NVPage 0012Prescott House
Rollins-Eyre House1870113 Main StreetMinersvilleMain 0113Rollins-Eyre House
Runyon Residence 186812865 River RoadCourtlandRiver 12865Runyon Residence
St. Catherine Catholic Church 1865Saint Catherine StreetHornitosSaint CatherineSt. Catherine Catholic Church
St. Columncille's Church186023457 North Bloomfield RoadNorth BloomfieldNorth Bloomfield 23457St. Columncille's Church
St. George Hotel186716104 Main Street VolcanoMain 16104St. George Hotel
St. Louis Catholic Church1854161 South Old La Grange RoadLa GrangeOld La GrangeSt. Louis Catholic Church
Sutter Creek Grammar School1871Cole StreetSutter CreekColeSutter Creek Grammar School
Sweet House1886607 Cherry StreetSanta Rosa Cherry 0607Sweet House
Washington Elementary School19051 School StreetWashingtonSchool 0001Washington Elementary School
Watson School 18565000 Bodega Highway Bodega Bodega Watson School
Whaley House 18551395 H Street Arcata Street H 1395Whaley House
Yolo County Courthouse1917725 Court Street WoodlandCourt 0725Yolo County Courthouse

Architectural Styles | Architects